Quick Guide to Preinstalling Windows

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For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 250609.
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This article describes how to preinstall the Microsoft Windows XP operating system.

IMPORTANT: If you plan to preinstall the Windows XP operating system for the first time, and you do not have any other computers that are running Windows XP, please read and follow the instructions in Part A and Part B of this Quick Guide. If you already have Windows XP installed, please proceed to Part B.

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Part A: Install Windows

To prepare for the unattended installation of Windows, follow these steps:
  1. Choose a computer to use as the master computer, and then configure the boot order in the BIOS with the CD-ROM drive as the first device, the hard disk as the second device, and the floppy drive as the third device.

    NOTE: It may be necessary to contact the computer manufacturer to adjust the settings in the computer BIOS.

    NOTE: Your computer must have El-Torito No Emulation CD boot support if it is an x86-based platform. If your system does not support El-Torito No Emulation CD boot, see your Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) User Guide for information about installing Windows.
  2. Insert the Windows CD into the CD-ROM drive of the master computer, and then boot the computer from the CD-ROM drive.

    Windows Setup starts automatically. Windows is installed in three stages: file copy, text-mode Setup, and GUI-mode Setup. At the end of the three phases of Setup, the operating system is completely installed.

Part B: Create a Winnt.sif Answer File

  1. After Windows is installed on the master computer, build an answer file for unattended installation of Windows by using the Setup Manager Wizard (Setupmgr.exe).

    The Preinstallation Tools are located in the Support\Tools\Deploy.cab file on the OEM Windows product media that comes in every OEM three-pack from your local Microsoft OEM Authorized Distributor. To install the Setup Manager utility, follow these steps:
    1. Open My Computer, and then open the Support\Tools folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM.
    2. Double-click the DEPLOY.CAB file to open it.
    3. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
    4. On the Edit menu, click Copy To Folder.
    5. Click Make New Folder. Type the name that you want for the Setup Manager folder, and then press ENTER. For example, type setup manager, and then press ENTER.
    6. Click Copy.
  2. Open the folder that contains the Setup Manager files, double-click Setupmgr.exe to start the Setup Manager Wizard, and then create a new answer file.

    For additional information about how to create an answer file, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    308662 Use Setup Manager to Create an Answer File
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions from the wizard to create the answer file:
    1. On the Product to Install page, click Windows Unattended Installation.
    2. On the Distribution Folder page, click No, this answer file will be used to install from a CD.
  4. When you reach the Windows Setup Manager dialog box that prompts you for a location in which to store the newly created file, insert a floppy disk into drive A:, type a:\winnt.sif, and then click OK. You receive the following message:
    The Setup Manager Wizard completed successfully. The following file(s) were created:
    A:\WINNT.SIF

    A:\WINNT.BAT
  5. Click Exit on the File menu to quit the Setup Manager Wizard, and then label the floppy disk that you created as "Windows Unattended Disk." If you want Windows Setup to delete all partitions on the hard disk, and to create a new partition, you must include the Repartition command in the Winnt.sif file. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Start Windows Notepad, and then open the Winnt.sif file that you created.
    2. Under [Unattended], insert a new line, and then type the following code:
      Repartition=Yes
      						
    3. Save the changes to the file, and then quit Notepad.

Part C: Preinstall Windows from CD-ROM

  1. On the target computer on which you want to preinstall Windows, configure the boot order in the BIOS with the CD-ROM drive as the first device, the hard drive as the second device, and the floppy drive as the third device.
    NOTE: It may be necessary to contact the computer manufacturer to adjust the settings in the computer BIOS.
  2. Insert the Windows XP CD in the CD-ROM drive, and then start the computer.
  3. When the Windows Setup blue screen menu is displayed, insert the Windows Unattended Disk that contains the Winnt.sif answer file that you just created.

    NOTE: Your computer must have El-Torito No Emulation CD boot support if it is an x86-based platform.

    Windows Setup starts automatically. Windows is installed in three stages: file copy, text-mode Setup, and GUI-mode Setup. At the end of the three phases of Setup, the operating system is completely installed.
  4. Remove the floppy disk.
  5. Restart the computer, and then start Windows to audit the system and manually brand it before you run Sysprep and ship it to your customer.

Part D: Brand Your System Manually

  1. To add support information to the Windows Start menu, create an Oeminfo.ini file by using Windows Notepad, and then copy it to the Windows\System32 folder.

    When you use Oeminfo.ini, the values in the [General] section and a Support Information button are displayed on the General tab of the System Properties dialog box.

    The following is an example of the Oeminfo.ini file:
    [General]
    Manufacturer = MyCompany, Inc.
    Model = Brand X Processor
    SupportURL = http://www.mycompany.com
    LocalFile = C:\Winnt\Web\LocalFilename.htm

    [Support Information]
    Line1= For Technical Support:
    Line2= to obtain updated drivers or for information on frequently
    Line3= asked questions, visit the MyCompany technical
    Line4= support web site at:
    Line5=
    Line6= http://www.mycompany.com/techsupport.
    NOTE: The [General] and [Support Information] sections of the Oeminfo.ini file are required. Replace the manufacturer, model, support URL, and local file information with your company information. Be careful not to leave any trailing spaces after your company name.
  2. To add your logo to the System Properties window in the Control Panel, replace the sample Oemlogo.bmp file included in this OPK with your company logo (bitmap image) in the Windows\System32 subfolder.

    NOTE: Your Oemlogo.bmp logo must be square and must measure 172 by 172 pixels. If your bitmap image is smaller than this specification, it appears centered in the rectangle. If it is larger than this specification, part of it might appear to be cropped under certain font and screen resolutions, or it might not appear at all. Refer to "Chapter 6: Advanced Customization Topics" in the OPK User Guide for more information about how to brand.

Part E: Use the System Preparation Tool (Sysprep.exe) to Prepare for Shipment

You can use Sysprep to do a thorough audit of preinstalled computers. To do so, log on to the Windows environment, run your auditing or testing tools, and then remove them. When you are finished, run Sysprep to restore the computer to a ship-ready state for delivery to end-users. Sysprep is the last program that you run before you ship a computer.

To restore the computer to a ship-ready state:
  1. On the Start menu, click Run, and then type cmd .
  2. At the command prompt, change to the root of the system drive, and then type md sysprep.
  3. Copy Sysprep.exe, Setupcl.exe, and the optional Sysprep.inf file from Tools on the Windows OPK Tools CD or from Support\Tools\Deploy.cab on the Windows XP product CD to the Sysprep folder.

    NOTE: Because Sysprep is not a duplicating utility and does not reset the Event Viewer logs, the logs on the destination computers display the events that occurred on the master computer. Make sure you clean up the event logs.
  4. At the command prompt, change to the Sysprep folder, and then type Sysprep.
  5. On the Windows System Preparation Tool message that appears, click OK.
  6. When you are ready to prepare the system, click Reseal, and then click OK.
When you are prompted to shut down the computer, remove the Windows product CD or OPK Tools CD.

NOTE: After you run Sysprep on the computer, the timeout is set to two seconds.

After the computer is restored to a ship-ready state, it is ready to be shipped to the user along with any of the required Windows materials as specified in your license agreement with Microsoft. Usually, these items include:
  • Windows product CD
  • Certificate of Authenticity label affixed to the system chassis

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  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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kbinfo KB314472

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